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Another Wedding Anniversary in the bin - how much more should I put up with?

(15 Posts)
ChiefFairyCakeMaker Wed 16-Jul-08 09:55:22

It was our wedding anniversary yesterday, we haven't really bothered celebrating it for the last few years as we've been going through a rough patch since DS(4)was born, but we're getting on a bit better now so I made the effort and got him a card and reminded him of when it was. Well he came home from work empty handed (he forgot apparantly)and we had words so he went out and came back with a card and a big bouquet of flowers, so everything was fine.

We then spent the evening apart (me watching telly and him upstairs on his computer as we do every night) so when I went upstairs to bed I said I thought you might have wanted to spend some time with me as it's our wedding anniversary, and said that I was disappointed that he'd forgotten it, etc. and went to bed. He then went mad slamming doors, ripping the heads of the flowers he'd bought (he's prone to temper tantrums and had drunk rather a lot of wine).

He's still sulking this morning - and I'm appologising for making him cross hmm then crying when I put the flowers in the bin when he'd gone to work.

I know all couples row, I know he has a bad temper, and the fact that it was our wedding anniversary made it worse, but it's made me wonder how much longer can I put up with this. I don't want to leave him, the cost (financial, emotional and to the DCs would be too great) but I want him to treat me with respect and stop having childish tantrums (unlikely after so long).

I accept that I'm not easy to live with, I can be very irritable and intolerant, maybe I just need to learn to handle him better in order to diffuse such situations, because most of the emotion has gone from our relationship for me, I haven't felt I really loved for him for a long time, I've been angry with him for the last few years but now I just feel emotionally numb (I have been mildly depressed - maybe that's why I feel like this?).

Sorry it's so long, any thoughts would be welcome

posieflump Wed 16-Jul-08 09:58:12

hmmmm I can see it from his point of view
he didn't get you anything, you moaned, he got you something, you still moaned
with dh if I want to go out I usally have to say to him 'look it's our anniversary on Friday shall I book an Italian' blah blah
I know it's a pain but a lot of men just don't see the need for all the romance like women do, some women that is, i'm not that arsed about anniversaries tbh, I'd rather he got up with the kids than bu me pointless flowers wink

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Wed 16-Jul-08 09:58:40

I don't think he was reasonable, nice or loving, but also - you spend every evening apart, and expect him to change your habits with no input from you? If you want a special evening, you need to tell him! When you told him it was your anniversary in the morning, why didn't you suggest you cooked a meal together/got a takeaway/whatever and had an evening in together? Also, one evening a year isn't enough, you need to stop this habit of spending evenings apart. It's not good for a relationship.
You can't expect him to read your mind.

crokky Wed 16-Jul-08 10:09:09

I would try and stick with it. I don't know how many DCs you have, but you certainly have a 4 yo and when kids are young, things can be stressful and difficult. See if you can try and accept 50% of the blame each and mend things so they can be like they used to be. If you are going to make the first move, could you try and ask him to do something with you (something that he particularly likes to eat/do?).

kingprawntikka Wed 16-Jul-08 11:02:03

You got him a card. He got you a card and flowers.You then spent the evening apart. You watching tv, him on the computer. Presumably he could feel just as neglected that you didn't turn off the tv and try and spend time with him?

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Wed 16-Jul-08 11:35:10

We have spent nearly every evening apart for about 3 years, when we try to spend time together at home we end up arguing. We do go out about once a fortnight and get on alright, although we don't have much to talk about apart from the DCs (and maybe we behave better in public).

I think the problem is we are very different personality wise, don't have much in common (apart form the DCs), and are both stubborn refusing to accept any blame/take any responsibility for the breakdown in our communication.

I think I'm now wary of spending time with him because it reminds me how little we have in common and that we don't really get on very well.

His tantrums include throwing things, smashing things, throwing the chocolates he gave me in the bin (because I let the DCs finish his chocolates), cutting the TV aerial wire when I was trying to watch the World Cup, but he would never physically hurt me or the DCs. This doesn't happen often but I think I have lost respect for him because of it, and we're struggling to maintain the relationship with no respect for each other, and little in common. He clearly has no respect for me as he seems to treat me like a naughty child who should be punished.

SecretSlapper Wed 16-Jul-08 15:06:58

ChiefFairy, I'm really touched that you took the time to post to me on my thread when you have got all this on your mind! Thank you.

I would also be really upset if this happened to me. I agree that trying to spend more time together could improve things, but rather than doing 'big' planned things together which could end in disappointment if your expectations are high, what if you just start off going and sitting with him in his computer room for a few minutes each night and say "tell me about your day".

I tried asking DH this the last 2 nights and he was surprised and said "You don't want to know about my day, you'll think it's boring" I realised that he feels I am uninterested in him and just go on about my own stuff sad. I said "I asked you didn't I, so tell me". Then I made sure I really listened and concentrated on understanding. I'm probably being soft but I could feel he felt a bit better about how he thinks I feel about him (I think we distrust each other's feelings).

If your DH is so defensive and gets in rages easily then I don't think criticising how he behaves towards you will ever make him change (know this from my own DH who has never ever admitted he has been wrong about anything). I think the best way is to show him by your own example, how to behave. I find that if I make the first move and start a nice conversation with my DH and do it a few times, he will start doing it back. He would never make the first move himself.

You could watch your TV and if you see something funny, go up to DH's computer room and say "I've just seen something funny..." If he doesn't seem to find it funny (my DH doesn't always understand my humour), you could say "Don't you find that funny? Tell me the last thing you found funny". Just have little lighthearted pleasant conversations where you don't launch into "You've done this wrong thing and upset me". Don't stay in the room long enough to feel tempted into discussing things that will make each other angry. Have your little conversation and go back to what you were doing.

I don't mean never discuss the difficult things, just at the moment, try to reconnect with each other and relax with each other a bit and have a break from your habit of bickering with each other. You might start to enjoy each other again. From these small conversations, you might feel more like having longer ones or spending more time doing 'bigger' things together.

It's just an idea, I don't know if it would work, I'm trying a similar thing at home.

myheartskipsabeat Wed 16-Jul-08 15:32:06

I'm sorry, but you say you don't like spending time with him, you don't have much in common and how different your personalities are, so I don't understand why you set such store by an anniversary card etc? Surely there are much bigger, more important things for you to worry about? As somebody else said, you complained when he didn't get you anything and complained again when got you something. What is the man supposed to do? Do you actually love him? Do you ever tell him so or do you expect him to be happy spending every evening away from you knowing that you expect a romantic gesture when it suits you on your anniversary? Maybe you need to start spending time together again, remind yourselves of why you got together in the first place, of why you married( presumably you did love each other),perhaps you could treat your night out as though it were a date? Make an extra effort to look nice and be nice? Maybe you will remember why you fell in love and just maybe, the romatic gestures will arrear again. One of you has to make a start and stop being so stubborn, since you appear to be so concerned about it, maybe it should be you. FWIW, I love getting cards and flowers on anniversaries and other special days ( and DH has never forgot after nearly 30 years of marriage), BUT, it is the unexpected cards or small gifts and gestures (a bar of my favourite chocolate, the kiss on the back of my neck after a long day at work)that show me how much he loves me all year, not just on our anniversary.

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Wed 16-Jul-08 17:24:23

Thanks SS, I appreciate your advice. I do tend to only go into his room when I've got Something Important to Discuss (either about the DCs or our relationship)! After so long bickering has become second nature and even when I make the effort to be nice it often ends up not being, so I need to really work at it.

mhsab - we tell each other that we love each other all the time, I often buy him his favourite chocolate, etc. and he gets me cards and flowers on special occassions (when I remind him) but it's the day-to-day grind that is such an uphill struggle sometimes.

I don't expect marriage to be a bed of roses but some mutual respect would be a good start for us both, I don't know if we can get back what we once had.

MrsTiddles Wed 16-Jul-08 17:48:22

I think the most revealing and important part of your thread ChiefFairyCM is the bit where you say you know you're not easy to live with and that you have been feeling angry with your husband.

If you can tackle these issues I am pretty sure that most of the other stuff will fall into place.

If you're angry you need to find a way to get past it, to accept him for who he is and forgive him and in doing so find that love for him that you had. And you can make yourself easier to live with. This is something I have to do every day because I'm an impatient irrational and temperamental person but I know I have to work hard to just calm things down a bit sometimes.

Its not a quick fix thing and its not easy, but its quite normal in a marriage.

I wonder if there is something you'd like to watch together on an evening, or even just read the papers together on the sofa. You don't have to be suddenly in each other's faces after spending some time alone, but spending time in each others company helps.

I hope things work out. I don't think your thread is really about your anniversary but about how you're feeling about your marriage.

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Wed 16-Jul-08 22:12:41

Thanks MrsT - you're right the anniversary bit was a red herring, it's bigger than that. I do need to work hard at being easier to live with, I think I always thought that I could just be myself at home and I wish I could but I guess I'll have to learn to bite my tongue more often.

That's good advice about just spending time in each other's company because I always think we should be talking when we do spend time together and that's what normally leads to either thinking we've nothing in common or an argument. I'll try it and see what happens

MrsTiddles Thu 17-Jul-08 07:07:07

oh yes, I do understand. I am a talker and my husband is a monosyllablic potato sometimes.

ChiefFairyCakeMaker Thu 17-Jul-08 10:52:22

LOL - monosyllabic potato grin that's a good one!

My husband is a big talker he just doesn't like talking about "Feeeelings" - he'd rather have a heated debate about something where as I'm very non-confrontational and say things like - don't shout at me, it's not my fault when he starts trying to discuss politics. Can you see how we're mismatched hmm? He's also a very loud bolshy passionate person and I'm quiet and unassertive, hence we get on each other's nerves!

SecretSlapper Fri 18-Jul-08 19:14:21

How are you feeling now CakeMaker?

PortAndLemon Fri 18-Jul-08 19:17:44

Would you consider Relate counselling? It sounds as though your relationship might be one of those that really benefits from it.

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